LifeSight first master trust to gain authorisation approval

LifeSight has become the first master trust to be granted authorisation by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

A total of eight master trusts have applied for authorisation so far, with the remaining schemes granted authorisation expected to be announced in batches.

LifeSight, the Willis Towers Watson master trust, was the first scheme to apply for authorisation, in October 2018, and is the first to be granted TPR approval.

Commenting on its approval, LifeSight managing director, Fiona Matthews said: “We are thrilled to be blazing a trail for master trusts and receive this formal regulatory approval of the work LifeSight does.

“We expect that authorisation will give schemes that have been waiting and watching developments the confidence to make the switch to master trust.”

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman stated: “This is an important moment for the pensions industry. Authorisation will ensure master trusts - managing billions of pounds on behalf of millions of members – are strong, safe and deliver for workers.

“With record numbers saving for retirement, including millions through automatic enrolment, it’s vital to have the right protections in place across the board.”

Master trusts must apply for TPR authorisation by 31 March 2019 or begin the process of exiting the market.

In it's most recent monthly bulletin, TPR revealed that seven schemes have now confirmed their exit from the market, while 31 have triggered their exit.

TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish commented: “By the end of the year every master trust that continues to operate will have proven that its scheme and its trustees meet the standards laid out in the legislation and our code of practice.”

Barnett Waddingham partner and head of DC, Mark Futcher added: “Of course, we are yet to see the first master trust not to receive authorisation and this will show us the true strength of the authorisation regime.”

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